Despite the list of difficulties of getting a flying car into production being a vast one, there’s no shortage of enterprising businessmen and women trying to be the first to offer one to the public. However, reminding us all rather graphically why the business of selling flying cars can’t seem to get off the ground (excuse the pun) is Slovakia’s Aeromobil whose latest prototype crashed on Friday during a test flight.
Behind the wheel was the flying car's chief designer, Štefan Klein, who walked away from the crash but was taken to hospital as a precaution. According to local news agency SME, a parachute helped soften the impact and Klein was later able to confirm that he was fine. The flying car fell from a height of approximately 900 feet and is believed to have been in a tailspin.
In a statement, Aeromobil said it will use data gathered from the crash to help further develop its flying car, and that the parachute system worked as intended and helped save the pilot from any injury. Aeromobil also said the flying car only suffered minor damage and will be back in testing soon after some repairs.
Aeromobil looked to have one of the more leading designs for its flying car, with this third-generation prototype being demonstrated in front of prospective buyers at a trade event in Austria late last year. More of an airplane that can be driven on public roads than a genuine flying car, the Aeromobil has an estimated top speed of 100 mph on the ground and 124 mph in the air. Take-off speed is 90 mph and on a full tank of gas. Aeromobil says its flying car should be able to cover around 430 miles.
The company hopes to start production around 2017.